Why does Proverbs keep talking about sex? Well, we probably need some wisdom when it comes to sex.
When I look at the headings in my Bible in Proverbs 6, I see “Warnings Against Adultery.” Our verse for today is Proverbs 6:27, which says,“Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?”But to get some context for this verse, let’s go back and start in chapter 6, verse 20. We’ll read through verse 29:
20My son, keep your father's commandment,
and forsake not your mother's teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they[a] will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,[b]
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.[c]
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,[d]
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
Now let’s check out some Bible commentaries on this chapter. They help us understand that immorality is very costlyto us. Dire consequences of immorality are severe and inevitable. It is impossible to commit adultery without bringing harm.
I look at it this way: sex is fire. I’ve taught sexual abstinence education at schools, and I believe that abstinence is the best choice: that we be sexually abstinent until marriage, and then sexually faithful within marriage.I believe this based not only on what the Bible says, but also on experience from my own life.
Let’s read verses 27 and 28 again: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” In the context, Solomon is talking about adultery, but I like this idea as applied to sex in general, including things like pornography. Can we play around with stuff like this and not get burned? No. You can choose to do that, but you cannot choose the consequences.
I’ve heard the saying, “If you choose to sin, you choose to suffer.” We need to have self-control. Sex is beautiful and powerful, but God created it for marriage only. I don’t say these things to make anyone feel bad, but because we need to get wisdom.
When I was younger, my friends and I used to like burning things. Not like burning houses or anything, but just messing with a lighter, you know? One day, we had some candy wrappers and my mom wasn’t at home. We were outside on the sidewalk, and we lit them. A car started coming by and I thought it was my mom, so I stepped on the fire trying to hide it and put it out. It wasn’t my mom, but when I turned around, the wrappers were melting to my sock and burning it. I was playing with fire, and I got burned.
Sex is a fire. It is meant to be in a place that is used constructively, and that is marriage. Things like pornography, even some television shows, can arouse desires for sex that cannot be righteously fulfilled, and when that happens, we need to just turn it off. Better yet, try to avoid it in the first place. Wisdom is learning to turn away from temptation.
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